I loved the idea of blog resolutions that I first saw on Semicolon, but her ten goals though admirable seemed a little much for me. I’m going to boil mine down to one goal that she mentioned in her list. My blog resolution this year is to comment every day on at least three blogs. I’ve noticed in the mommy blogs that people comment more to give support, compliment a post, or say “true dat.” We have a great community here in the kidlitosphere, and I want to foster that in the small daily ways, as well as big yearly ways.
What big ways? Why, as a Cybils picture book judge, of course. The short lists came out today and are posted at the Cybils website. I’ll list the categories in which I’m most interested, but just the titles without links if you don’t mind. I’ve had a bit of Cybil envy the last few months, as everybody was getting their free books and reading like mad to narrow the list down to five in each category. (Picture books alone had over a hundred nominees!) I felt a little bit left out, even though I knew that I could not handle reading eighty books over the busy holiday months. It was why I wanted to be a judge and only deal with five titles. Five picture book titles, so I don’t even have much to read. I actually feel kind of lazy about it now. Here are the nominations for picture books, middle grade fiction, and young adult fiction. Annotations (or lack thereof) are from the Cybils site, and asterisks indicate the books I’ve read.
Finalists of Young Adult Fiction with eighty nominated books:
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
*A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life, by Dana Reinhardt
*Hattie Big Sky, by Kirby Larson
*Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
*The Rules of Survival, by Nancy Werlin
Finalists of Middle Grade Fiction with 63 nominated books:
A Drowned Maiden’s Hair, by Laura Amy Schlitz
This gothic page-turner features a feisty orphan, a houseful of secrets, and a villain preying on unsuspecting victims.
Framed, by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Take a small grey Welsh town. Add great works of art. Stir.
Heat, by Mike Lupica
A heartwarming tale of immigration, baseball and familial love. It’s a reminder of what the U.S.A. and Americans can be.
Kiki Strike, by Kirsten Miller
What’s better than Girl Scouts, books, and an underground world under New York City? Absolutely nothing! That’s why Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City is one of the most entertaining books of the year.
*Weedflower, by Cynthia Kadohata
WWII serves as the backdrop to this tale of internment, friendship, and growing flowers in the dry desert dust of Arizona.
Finalists of Picture Books with 111 nominations:
Emily’s Balloon, written and illustrated by Komako Sakai
A bittersweet glimpse into the mind of a toddler who has befriended a yellow balloon.
Learning to Fly, written and illustrated by Sebastian Meschenmoser
A simple book with an important message, this is the story of a penguin who wants to fly and his friend who helps him. The humorous illustrations add to this message about dreams and friendship.
*Scaredy Squirrel, written and illustrated by Melanie Watt
An anxious squirrel, who is most comfortable staying in his familiar surroundings and sticking to his rigid daily schedule, is surprised when the unexpected occurs. The illustrations and the text features add to the humor.
*Waiting for Gregory, written by Kimberly Willis Holt, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska
A young girl, living in the whimsical, imaginative world that only Gabi Swiatkowska can create, anticipates with great excitement the birth of her cousin, only to grow increasingly confused by her family’s peculiar responses to her questions about exactly how and when the baby will arrive.
*Wolves, written and illustrated by Emily Gravett
A clever book-within-a-book that uses expressive collage and mixed media to tell the tale of a curious rabbit who finds real-life adventure in addition to the information he expects when he checks out a library book about wolves.
Surprises? That I’ve read most of the Young Adult titles (I’m going to have to read The Book Thief now, aren’t I?). That I haven’t read most of the Middle Grade books (what have I been reading instead?), and that Duck and Goose isn’t on the Picture Book list. I guess I’ll finally get to see Learning to Fly though, and that’s very cool.